It’s been way too long since my last post.

While I may not be blogging as often as I intend to, at least I have managed to keep up (mostly) with one of my other goals: journaling.

Throughout the years, I’ve kept journals and diaries as a way to process life and record interesting events. For years, it has looked like a usual narrative. (“Today, I went to work…”) And, to be honest, it always felt monotonous to write daily events and thoughts as normal prose, but I never knew how else to approach it.

Then I read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. When a student gave it to me as a Christmas gift, I was excited to have a new book. I expected a shift in perspective, to be more thankful for the good and not so good of life. But I never expected the prose and the ideas to turn my prose upside down.

Firstly, the prose is beautiful and poetic. I intend on reading through it again to absorb her style as I begin reworking novel #2 with the poetic narrator.

Besides that, the author decides to keep a list of a thousand things to be thankful for. And I decided to do the same. At first, it was just on a few sheets of paper. Then, as I looked at my list, I realized that I remembered all of the events attached to the entries.

16. preserved gardens
There had been a terrible storm. Several pieces of PVC fence had been thrown across the yard and into the road. However, the pieces of fence right around my little veggie garden stayed in place, keeping my garden safe.

56. geekiness
Some family, friends, and I went to a Star Trek exhibit together. I’ve never been opposed to Star Trek, but I’m married to a Trekkie. It’s slowly been rubbing off on me (but don’t tell anyone!).

13. head rubs
I had written that as my granddad lay dying. He had always rubbed my head and neck and told me how his aunt used to do the same. I rubbed his head one last time in the dark hospital room as we began a vigil that was supposed to last no longer than an hour but continued for a week. He was determined to beat the odds to the end.

I was inspired. (Yes, that made it on my list of gifts.) I copied down what I had already written and transformed my journal into a more creative place. My numbered list of things I’m thankful for. Quotes I love. Scripture I’m reading. Drawings (though they are absolutely pathetic :) ). My thoughts in blurbs.

Now, it looks more like this:









Do you journal?


6 responses to “Journaling…

  • Joy

    I love to journal and it is fun watching how they evolve, check put my post called journal evolution. :-)

    • Bryna

      Thanks for stopping by! Your journaling journey is so like my journey as a writer in general. It’s so hard to find the right words, especially when your inner critic is a neurotic perfectionist. :)

      And there’s nothing like a beautiful journal. Leather are definitely my favorite.

  • Lissa Clouser

    Journaling and I have a love/hate relationship. I used to do it all the time. But like you said, it was just a monotonous record of events. (Many of them not so happy at the time I was journaling.) I began to feel like if I didn’t record things they didn’t exist. I began to feel intense guilt (sometimes still do) for NOTrecording things. I look back and I have so many journals that spawned from depression, self-hatred, and other intense negative emotions. But do I have them of my wedding? Of our first anniversary? Of my friends? No. And I feel terrible for it. I want to get rid of the dark journals and start anew. It can have dark moments, that’s okay. But the theme needs to be life as a whole and not just inner turmoil. Thank you for your post. I have a new journal I would like to begin with, start fresh, but I’ve been unsure how to do it. Your post just reminded me there is no right or wrong way. Just let yourself flow onto the page. =)

    • Bryna

      Thanks for reading! I understand how easy it is to record negative feelings and neglect the positive ones. Going back through some of my journals, it’s like a gripe-fest. :)

      Best of luck on your journaling adventure!

  • silvia

    Wonderful! It made me think about Flannery O’Connor! And Graham Greene. Love

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